Farm Bill Expires

The U.S. House and Senate conference committee failed to agree on the final version of a five-year Farm Bill, leaving dozens of government programs in limbo. Initiatives such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund and federal matching funds for statewide agricultural groups expired on Oct. 1.

Food stamps (known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) and crop insurance have permanent authorization and will continue. Policymakers and advocacy groups are working to make sure other programs carry on in stopgap fashion until the House returns after the November elections and the conference committee once again seeks consensus on a bill that can be sent to President Trump. The negotiators are still far apart on expanded work requirements for a larger pool of recipients and Title 1 funding for farm program subsidies. It is not uncommon for the Farm Bill to require extensions before it is ultimately approved.